While it is easy to complain about what is happening it is sometimes hard to offer real solutions.
So much for the Financial Committees (lack of) recommendations. So I have thought for 36 hours (not 14 weeks) and come up with 11 suggestions....
1. Cut - Cut - Cut! Get rid of everything we don't need to survive or trim it to the bare bones minimums.
2. Freeze on ALL Non-Essential Spending - In times of budget crisis you do not buy new software, remodel city hall or buy new things. Those are extras for when you have a surplus.
3. Renegotiate all Salaries Most people would rather renegotiate than to lose their job. Bring down the wages to at or below industry or area averages. It is not popular but it may save us!
4. Fire & Rehire: Employees can be fired and rehired at lower wages. Benefit costs can be shared. Extras can be cut.
5. Freeze Wages Once we are at a reasonable level of payroll, a complete Freeze on wages and benefits.
6. Privatize: Certain areas of service can be privatized and may save us considerable money.
7. Eliminate the DDA - Never have liked the idea of a taxing agency that wasn't elected. Not to mention, we need the money more than downtown needs a cheerleader.
8. Sponsorships: Plenty of businesses would sponsor city events, areas within the city and pay for it for naming rights.
9. Lease City land/Property: Businesses could pay for short term use of properties.
10. End tax incentives for new business - Why should new business gain favor over established businesses in Ferndale. Level the playing field.
11. Work Off Your Fine - Encourage citizens to volunteer and give community service to work off fines, fees and costs owed to the city.
I cannot understand why people have a difficult time with budgeting.
Whether you are a family, a small business or a municipality, you do the same thing people do when they receive a loss of income....trim their budget to match. You don't get a pay cut and then go buy 2 new cars and a new furniture!
Ferndale's Hot List of City Hall's wasteful spending:
Totem Pole $30,000
Crows Nest $75,000
Multiple Consulting Fees $100,000 plus each (multiple)
Raising their own salaries $25,000+ a year
Cancel May elections $10-$20,000/election
Need I go on???
If you know of more wasteful city spending or have more ideas on how to cut please comment here or email me at SeanMHouse@gmail.com
CALL TO CITIZENS OF FERNDALE
Lets convene our own Citizens Committee to offer suggestions to Council for our budget woes. Contact me at 248-224-1973 or the email above.
Believe me when I tell you that there were many people with options that were ignored or muzzled. That time is over.